Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Quote of the Day - October 16, 2007

"No flash, no bang."
- Atlanta-based Rapper T.I. upon receipt of machine guns and silencers from his bodyguard while under surveillance by ATF agents.

While Clifford "T.I." Harris should have been preparing for the BET Hip Hop Awards on Saturday evening, he was being booked into jail by ATF agents for purchasing three 9mm machine guns and two 9mm silencers. As a convicted felon (drug trafficking and distribution charges), T.I. is not allowed to own or possess firearms. Special permits are necessary to own semi-automatic weapons, and silencers are illegal.

T.I. has a bond hearing scheduled for Friday, October 19th.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution details the timeline leading to the rapper's arrest on Saturday based on documents released by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF):
  • Oct. 2: Harris' bodyguard asks a licensed gun dealer about buying a machine gun without registering it, as required by law. The dealer reports the incident to ATF agents, who give the dealer the cell phone number of an undercover ATF agent, posing as a machine gun dealer, to pass along to the bodyguard. The bodyguard calls the number within hours.
  • Oct. 10: Harris arranges for the bodyguard to pick up $12,000 in cash from his bank on Northside Parkway to buy the weapons. Later, the bodyguard meets with the undercover agent at a K-Mart store, 5997 Buford Highway, Doraville. The bodyguard gives the agent $2,200 and a .223-caliber pistol in exchange for three 9mm machine guns and two 9mm silencers. The bodyguard is then arrested. He tells agents he was buying the guns for Harris. He also says he has purchased about 25 firearms over the past 18 months for Harris and others. ATF agents confirm the purchases.
  • Oct. 11: After agreeing to cooperate with the ATF, the bodyguard makes a monitored phone call to Harris. He tells Harris that he has "everything for you."
  • Oct. 12: Harris calls his bodyguard and arranges for him to deliver the firearms the next day.
  • Oct. 13, approx. 12:45 p.m.: Harris calls the bodyguard and asks him to bring the items to a recording studio. At the direction of ATF agents, the bodyguard suggests that they instead meet at a shopping center parking lot at the corner of Piedmont and North avenues in Atlanta.
  • Oct. 13, 2:22 p.m.: Harris arrives at the parking lot. The bodyguard gets into Harris' vehicle and shows him the machine guns and silencers. When the bodyguard explains the function of one silencer, Harris says, "No flash, no bang." Harris also asks about ammunition, the capacity of the magazine and about "change left over" from the $12,000. Authorities then move in and arrest Harris without incident. A search of his vehicle uncovers three firearms, including one tucked between the driver's seat and the center console.
  • Oct. 13, 2:40 p.m.: ATF agents begin searching Harris's home in College Park, GA. They find three rifles, two pistols and a revolver in a walk-in closet in his bedroom. Five of the firearms are loaded.
  • Oct. 15: Harris, held in federal custody over the weekend, makes his first appearance in federal court on two felony charges: possession of unregistered machine guns and possession of firearms by a convicted felon.
  • Read the entire story about rapper T.I.'s rise to fame and fall from grace here.

    plez sez: i've seen his pictures on the news the last few days... i don't know any of his music [sic]. this story has little or no interest to me, t.i. can spend the rest of his days rotting in a prison somewhere for all i care, but here is another case of a relatively high-profile, successful(?), Black man in the ATL who is stealing the headlines and basically tarnishing the reputation of Atlanta.

    this t.i. (or t.i.p.) character is either the dumbest m.f. in college park OR the ATF agents arrested the wrong guy (and have the wrong guy on surveillance tape talking about the purchase of machine guns and silencers in direct violation of the terms of his release on felony drug charges). i'll stick with him being the dumbest guy around!

    WTF! what is a high profile rapper who is up for numerous hip hop awards doing in a drug store parking lot completing the transaction for high powered semi-automatic guns and silencers when he should've been at home polishing the BLING that he'd planned to wear later that night to the awards show?

    the level of stupidity of these people never ceases to amaze me. if nothing else, he should get 20 years for being the dumbest muthaf**** in metro Atlanta! and after reading more about him, you will see that he is little more than a two-bit thug who probably relishes the thought of more jail time. i'm saddened, again!


    Unknown said...

    You know I gotta comment on this one since this is my area of expertise.

    While Clifford "T.I." Harris should have been preparing for the BET Hip Hop Awards on Saturday evening, he was being booked into jail by ATF agents for purchasing three 9mm machine guns and two 9mm silencers. As a convicted felon (drug trafficking and distribution charges), T.I. is not allowed to own or possess firearms. Special permits are necessary to own semi-automatic weapons, and silencers are illegal.
    This is so wrong. You don’t need a special permit to purchase or possess semi-auto firearms. You do need one for fully auto firearms and silencers which is what TI was allegedly attempting to buy. Now the part about felons not having guns is right.

    plez... said...


    I appreciate the clarification.

    Unknown said...

    I appreciate the clarification.
    No problem. I know that a lot of people don’t know the difference between semi-auto and full auto. Also silencers aren’t illegal, they (like fully auto weapon) can be purchased but only after additional background checks by the feds, a special tax and a bunch of other rules and regulations.

    rikyrah said...

    As I'm driving, I routinely find myself behing a public bus that has this advertisement on it:

    If you're a felon, don't mess with guns, because it will only hurt your family.

    Now, I know this bit of information because of a billboard on a bus...

    And, you're telling me that T.I. didn't know this?

    1. He's a felon.
    2. He doesn't know that he can't have guns while being on parole?
    3. He has bodyguards. I need someone to explain this to me. If you have bodyguards, why do YOU need to carry a weapon?
    4. I also would like to ask, are the anti-gun people lying when they say, you can buy a certain type of gun. Then, order some sort of a kit, and if you have any kind of mechanical inclination, you can turn a gun into an automatic weapon? Doesn't seem to take a genius, or are the anti-gun people lying?
    5. With the ridiculous loose gun laws in states like Virginia, you're telling me that his bodyguards couldn't have gotten the guns LEGALLY? Were his bodyguards felons too - is that the reason why this couldn't be done through LEGAL CHANNELS? It's not like he can't afford to pay full price.

    I'm just not getting why this criminal being stupid should be of concern to 'The Community'.

    Anonymous said...

    plez said..."i am not particularly angry with what john gibson said, but i am more than a little upset with the continued demonization and violent characterization of Black men in the media."

    I 100% agree with you that T.I. did some dumb and truly unnecessary (not to mention illegal) things. And your statement above is the answer to rikyrah's question about how this concerns the community. Black men are disproportionately targeted for criminal investigation and prosecution. Where are all the white folks in the illicit chain of ownership in those guns. I gurantee there are some, but the investigation stops with the high profile negro.

    It's no big stretch for me to believe that T.I. was in fear for his safety and routinely carried a weapon, even though the law said he couldn't, to protect himself. Do we need him in jail for 20 years to protect society? Is jail going to rehabilitate him? Is 20 years for just having a gun to protect yourself reasonable punishment?

    If it sounds like I am defending T.I., I am not. He needs to understand that there are ways to accomplish your mission that don't put you at risk of going to jail. He didn't think this thing through. Maybe, in spite of all his self-proclaimed street wisdom, he wasn't intellectually equipped to operate in the larger game of this society. We need to not just abandon brothers and sisters to the system all willy nilly, even when they make mistakes. T.I. made a mistake, he didn't hurt anyone, nothing morally repugnant about his actions, no sin worthy of eternal damnation.

    T.I. was ignorant, and I'd rather have the chance to help him learn and grow, than see him stuffed in a prison to wither and die.